Maui-based brand Waiwaolani creates clothing that highlights Hawaiian plants

June 04, 2024

For Roselani Aiwohi, her first steps in creating what eventually became her clothing company, Waiwaolani, was never intended as a business venture. Instead, it simply started as a way to help out an acquaintance.

She told Pacific Business News that when the Covid-19 pandemic hit, a family she knew in Indonesia was looking to make some extra money and asked if she would be interested in hiring them to sew clothing. She said yes, and quickly realized that there was greater potential in the project.

“After seeing the first samples come in the mail, I got excited and realized that this could turn into a business if I took the necessary steps,” recalled Aiwohi, who’s based on Maui.

Aiwohi admitted that she faced a number of challenges as she navigated through the “unknowns of starting and running a business,” but after spending months researching, she launched Waiwaolani in 2021 and released her first line in November of that year.

Waiwaolani creates clothing featuring colorful prints of Native Hawaiian plants. The brand can be found online and at select pop-up markets.

Aiwohi said she designs her clothes to highlight Hawaiian plants “in hopes to get more community support in taking care of our native ecosystems and watersheds.” To that end, the company features information about native plants on its website and also donates to local conservation organizations.

As a member of Mana Up’s Cohort 9, Aiwohi is looking forward to meeting “like-minded business owners” that she can grow alongside with.

When asked where she wants the company to be one year from now, Aiwohi said she wants it to “have a stronger branding presence and a more polished packaging look.”

“I also want to have an office/fulfillment center location separate from my home,” she added. “And finally, I also want to continue to give back to the community by supporting local non-profit organizations that help perpetuate the Hawaiian community in various ways.”

PBN is partnering with Mana Up to announce the 10 newest entrepreneurs joining Cohort 9 of its product business accelerator program, with profiles on each company slated to roll out one at a time through June 4. Stay tuned to, and check out the June 7 print edition for the full roundup.